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John Carroll Lynch

Interview, Audio: John Carroll Lynch Directs an Elegy for Harry Dean Stanton in ‘Lucky’

Lucky

CHICAGO – He is a familiar character actor, having a long career with roles in TV and film as diverse as “Fargo,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Gran Torino,” “The Americans.” and the recent “Jackie” and “The Founder.” He is actor John Carroll Lynch, and he has made his directorial debut in the wonderfully essential “Lucky,” whose title character is portrayed by Harry Dean Stanton. The film is a perfect elegy for the actor, who passed away last month at the age of 91.

Film Review: Michael Keaton is a Man with a Brand in ‘The Founder’

CHICAGO – Michael Keaton is the real reason to see “The Founder” – it’s a movie that probably wouldn’t work at all without him. Keaton portrays Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a multinational fast food behemoth. But “The Founder” is an origin story of both the man and the brand…and Kroc is not the genius of American business he’s been made out to be.

Film Review: ‘Ted 2’ is a Funnier Film Than it Deserves to Be

CHICAGO – While it’s cruder and it can’t quite match the original “Ted,” “Ted 2” is still funnier than it has any right to be. It is unmistakably a Seth MacFarlane production, and there are a million reasons why this movie shouldn’t work, chief among them a plot that attempts to plop a foul mouthed talking teddy bear into a moralistic legal parable about civil rights. But I can’t deny I laughed throughout, almost despite myself.

Film Review: Guantanamo Bay Drama ‘Camp X-Ray’ With Kristen Stewart

Camp X-Ray, 2014

CHICAGO – The haunting setting of Guantanamo Bay is used for elementary emotional effect in “Camp X-Ray,” a prison drama electrified more by its performances than its hopes of a profound narrative about the interactions between gatekeeper and captive.

TV Review: NBC Stumbles on Thursdays Again with ‘Do No Harm’

CHICAGO – What do “Prime Suspect,” “Awake,” and “Rock Center” have in common? They’ve all aired in what was once the most beloved timeslots on network TV — Thursday nights on NBC.

TV Review: ABC’s Disappointing ‘Body of Proof’ With Dana Delany

Body of Proof S2

CHICAGO – I had some serious issues with the first-season premiere of “Body of Proof,” a modest hit for ABC that they’ve decided to give another shot at developing into a major one with a second season. Having not watched an episode since Matt Fagerholm’s 2-star review (one which I agreed with wholeheartedly and echoed on my weekly WGN-AM radio segment), I was curious to see if they had fixed the problems with the show. Would tonight’s season-two premiere be an overhauled, new-and-improved version of what we watched six months ago? Nope.

TV Review: Despite Dana Delany, ‘Body of Proof’ Proves Dead on Arrival

CHICAGO – Meet Megan Hunt. On second thought, don’t. In fact, avoid her like the plague. If you see her walking toward you, make sure to cross the street or dive into the next room. The woman needs space, you see. She’s been through a lot.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Shutter Island’ Looks Amazing, But Deserved Better Release

Shutter Island

CHICAGO – I firmly believe that the detractors of Martin Scorsese’s amazing “Shutter Island” will deny they ever criticized this masterful thriller when it was first released. History will be very kind to this dizzying trip through a cinematic funhouse led by arguably our best living filmmaker, but one would never guess it from Paramount’s purely average Blu-ray release.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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